Trout Lake History

Alice Jowett



Trout Lake was once known not only for its rich mines but for the remarkable personality of a plucky hotel owner by the name of Alice Jowett. Born Alice Elizabeth Smith in 1853 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, she learned the confectionery business as a young woman and in 1878 married Thomas E. Jowett.

In 1889, Alice lost her husband and decided to move to Canada with her three young children – Evelyn, Edith and John. They crossed the ocean to the East coast of Canada and traveled across the country by train on a colonist car for immigrants, where two or three families shared cooking facilities and made up their own beds to share costs.

The original plan had been to go to Pasadena, California but by the time she got to Vancouver she had run out of money. She first worked for a family named Edwards and soon had enough money saved to start her own business. Alice set up the first bake shop on Cordova Street in Vancouver and had great success in selling her wonderful pies, cakes, bread, and buns.

Hearing about the big gold mines of the Lardeau and feeling it was time for a change, Alice sold her bake shop and moved to Trout Lake in 1897. She bought the Trout Lake City Hotel, a two-storey part-log building, from John Bourke and soon became known for her excellent meals. The miners flocked to her little establishment.

Other hotels were being built in the mining towns of the West Kootenay to accommodate the prospectors who were coming from far and wide. One was the Windsor Hotel built in Trout Lake in 1897 by McLennon, Black and Co. A three-storey frame building with dormer windows, it was the finest in the Kootenays. It had hardwood floors throughout, a large billiard hall, parlours, and a reception room.

The Windsor was situated in front of Mrs. Jowett’s small trout Lake City Hotel, and when the larger hotel came up for sale in 1907, she jumped at the chance to buy it. Later, in the 1930s, she tore down her original hotel and sold the lumber to a mine.
Under her management, the Windsor became well known not only for her delicious meals but for the fine china and linen tablecloths she used to serve her culinary delights.

By 1920, Jack Simpson had become her partner in the operation. Alice had many employees through the years. One of them was a young girl named Edna Lindholm, later Edna Daney. On her way to work at Halcyon Hot Springs in 1930, Edna heard that Alice was looking for someone to work at the hotel. The pay sounded better, so she went there instead. She worked for Alice for three years, living and tasting the life of the Lardeau where every day was a new adventure.

After Alice’s hotel business was running smoothly and was well established, she caught the prospecting fever and began to hike among the hills searching for claims. The Foggy Day was her most famous mine. Alice had several other claims and made a trip every year to inspect them on horseback, right up into her 80s.

At the age of 92, Alice reluctantly decided she could no longer continue to operate the hotel. She sold out and moved to the Rest Haven convalescent home in Kelowna, where she celebrated her 100th birthday in 1953. She died in the spring of 1955. Her family took her ashes to the alpine basin she so loved and placed them in a cairn especially built to honour this great pioneer.

The stories of the Jowetts, Daneys and many others are included in the Arrow Lake Historical Society’s fourth book Circle of Silver, which is about the history of the Lardeau are, featuring Trout Lake, Camborne and Ferguson. This book won for Milton Parent, author/historian, the Lieutenant Governor’s award for historical writing in 2001.

Trout Lake




The Trout Lake area (082K/11) is in the Lardeau district, in the West Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia. It straddles the south end of Trout Lake and provides a cross section through the Badshot Range (Duncan Ranges) of the Selkirk Mountains. It also extends across the northern tip of Duncan Lake into the Purcell Mountains.

The layered rocks are folded but generally young from northeast to southwest. In the eastern part of the map sheet, in the Purcell Mountains and in the northeastern part of the Selkirk Mountains, they include Precambrian (Proterozoic) clastic strata of the Horsethief Creek and Hamill groups, and a thick early Cambrian limestone known as the Badshot Formation. The latter is a regionally extensive marker horizon throughout much of southeastern British Columbia. The southwestern Selkirk Mountains are almost entirely underlain by metasedimentary and metavolcanic strata of the Paleozoic Lardeau Group and the Lardeau Range, east of Trout Lake, is underlain by Lardeau rocks and those of the overlying, Late Paleozoic, Milford Group. Both units belong to the Kootenay Arc, which, at this latitude, is fault-bounded against Ancestral North American rocks at the Badshot limestone contact. The arc rocks are pericratonic and have undergone several phases of deformation. The presence of foliated clasts in conglomerates at the base of the Milford Formation speaks to deformation during the Devonian to Mississipian (Antler Orogeny), and the ubiquitous presence of tight northwest trending isoclinal folds with subhorizontal axes throughout the map area implies a significant amount of crustal shortening in the Late Jurassic (Columbian Orogeny). There are two major intrusions in the Trout Lake area. There is limited exposure of the Mesozoic Kuskanax, granite to monzonite, batholith in the extreme southwest corner of the map sheet and a similarly restricted area of the younger, but also Mesozoic Galena Bay, granodiorite, pluton in the northeast corner. The former appears to be syntectonic and, regionally, metamorphic grade decreases from southwest to northeast, away from its contact. The Kootenay Arc rocks lie in the hanging wall of the Columbia River Fault, a major zone of detachment that underwent significant dip-slip motion to the east during the Eocene. The hanging wall plate of the fault, known as the "Selkirk Allochthon", is composed of several, highly deformed, tectonic slices comprising parts of the Lardeau, Milford and Hamill Groups.

The Horsethief Creek and Hamill groups comprise a considerable thickness of mixed siliciclastic strata that accumulated on continental crust. Over time, arenaceous sediments became more argillaceous and calcareous, and there are several limestone bands in the Marsh Adams Formation, at the top of the Hamill Group. The Badshot Formation is a regionally significant marker that was referred to as the "lime dyke" by early prospectors. The Lardeau Group overlies, but is commonly in fault contact with, the Badshot. In the Trout Lake area, it is divided into six formations; the Index, Triune, Ajax, Sharon Creek, Jowett and Broadview. Of these, the Index and Broadview are of regional extent. The others are more local in distribution but are of considerable importance and value in delineating the structure of the Silver Cup Anticline, a faulted structure that hosts many of the larger deposits.

The Index Formation is at the base of what appears to be a simple stratigraphic sequence comprised of the six formations; however, the folded nature of the rocks makes for considerable local repetition and it is possible that the Index and Broadview may be the same unit. The Index Formation consists of a thick, mixed, sequence of grey, green and black phyllitic schist, siliceous argillite, calcareous phyllite and limestone, schistose metabasalt, mafic tuff and rare quartzite. It is (apparently) overlain by black siliceous argillite, chert and phyllite of the Triune Formation, and by massive quartzite of the Ajax Formation. The latter was referred to as the "Cromwell dyke" by early prospectors. The quartzite was overlain by the Sharon Creek Formation, another black siliceous argillite, chert and phyllite unit and that, in turn, was overlain by metamorphosed basalt, tuff and phyllite of the Jowett Formation. These volcanic rocks are covered by a similar sequence to that found below. The Broadview Formation includes grey, green and black phyllite, calcareous phyllite and limestone, siliceous argillite, gritty sandstone and schistose mafic volcanic rocks. The Lardeau Group is unconformably overlain by metaconglomerate, meta-sandstone and marble of the Milford Group.

The layered rocks are highly deformed and Fyles and Eastwood (1962) identified a major "N-shaped" fold structure east of Trout Lake. On its southwest side, the fold consists of the Silver Cup Anticline, which underlies much of Silver Cup Ridge. To the northeast of this anticline is the Finkle Creek syncline, the northeast limb of which is disrupted into a collage of fault-bounded fragments near the Badshot limestone. The folds are isoclinal and mimicked by numerous satellite structures. The axes are subhorizontal and there is a regionally extensive axial plane schistocity which is subparallel to bedding. The folds are disrupted by younger faults, some of which are close to axial in orientation and others are weakly to strongly discordant. These late faults, which include the Cup Creek Fault that cuts the Silver Cup Anticline, are important controls on mineralization.

There are 97 known occurrences in the area; of which 93 are metallic, 3 are industrial mineral and 1 is a placer occurrence. The area was first explored for hard-rock mineral deposits in the early 1890s as prospectors moved into the area from the Slocan and Kootenay Lakes areas. At that time, they identified three principal centres of gold and silver-lead mineralization and established mining camps at Camborne, east of Beaton, Ferguson, east of Trout Lake and Poplar, south of Trout Lake. The Ferguson camp, which includes both larger (Silver Cup [082KNW027], Nettie L. [082KNW100] and True Fissure [082KNW030]) and smaller-scale (Winslow [082KNW025], Ophir [082KNW032] and Wagner [082KNW212]) past-producing mines, is within the Trout Lake map sheet. The major mines were active in the early 1900s but had all ceased production prior to the 1950s. Most of the major deposits and showings are polymetallic, post-tectonic, epigenetic vein and/or replacements controlled by both structure and stratigraphy. However, in some localities (Winslow[082KNW025] and Ophir [082KNW032]), the veins are gold-rich and only weakly polymetallic. In some cases, surface gold values have clearly been enhanced by weathering.

Spatially, the majority of the deposits in the Trout Lake area fall into two major belts. In the northeast part of the map sheet there are numerous sulphide replacement and polymetallic vein deposits. The former include Mollie Mac [082KNW036], Index [082KNW038] and Silver Chief [082KNW039], which formed in siderite replacement zones in Index Formation (Lade, a.k.a. Mollie Mac) or Badshot limestone. The latter include Abbott [082KNW056], Badshot [082KNW033] and Mohican [082KNW035]. In these, the mineralization associated with the limestone is more obviously vein related. In the same general area, there are several occurrences in which the veins are in metasediment a short distance from the limestone (Wagner[082KNW212], Sheep Creek [082KNW050] and Princess Marie [082KNW225]). The second main belt of occurrences is the southeastern continuation of the Camborne Mining Camp, which is in NTS area 082K/13. Both lie along the axis of the Silver Cup Anticline. These occurrences, including the polymetallic veins at True Fissure [082KNW030], Nettie L. [082KNW100] and Silver Cup [082KNW027], have produced the bulk of the ore in the area. These occurrences are controlled by late structures that are concordant and highly discordant to the northwest trending regional fabric of the area. Other, lesser vein occurrences (Cromwell [082KNW058], Okanagan [082KNW024] and Alice [082KNW165]) that are also discordant commonly have a northeast trending strike and are notably enriched in gold.

The last major exploration push in the Trout Lake area occurred in the 1980s, in response to successful drilling on the Goldfinch [082KNW076] gold property in the Camborne camp. At that time, there was a significant amount of development work done on the Abbott [082KNW056] and Wagner [082KNW212] properties in the east, and on the Yuill [082KNW120] and Towser [082KNW028] properties (near Silver Cup) in the west.

Aspects of the geology of the area are described by many authors; however, the geology and metallogeny are best described by Emmens (1915), Gunning, Walker and Bancroft (1929), Fyles and Eastwood (1962) and Smith and Gehrels (1990). Fyles and Eastwood, in particular, delineate the stratigraphy and the structure of the Silver Cup anticline and Smith and Gehrels provide a modern, 1:25 000-scale, map of the mineralized area. The metallogeny of Camborne Mining Camp, in the adjacent Beaton map area (NTS 082K 12 & 13), is described by Church and Jones (1999) and much of what they say is applicable to the Trout Lake area.


NMINameOKANAGAN (L.9127), ENDERBY (L.9128), RITMining DivisionRevelstokeBCGS Map082K063StatusPast ProducerNTS Map082K11WLatitude50º 37' 11" NUTM11 (NAD 83)Longitude117º 21' 56" WNorthing5607602Easting474140CommoditiesGold, Silver, Lead, Zinc, CopperDeposit TypesI05 : Polymetallic veins Ag-Pb-Zn+/-AuTectonic BeltOminecaTerraneKootenayCapsule Geology

The Okanagan and Enderby occurrence is at 2354 metres elevation in an alpine basin to the west of Triune Mountain. The Okanagan (L.9127) and Enderby (L.9128) claims are near the head of Burg Creek, which drains to the southwest into Trout Lake. They are uphill from the Winslow (L.8680) and Gladhand (L.8681) [082KNW025], immediately to the southeast of the U & I (L.7589) [082KNW023], and 1.5 kilometres to the northeast of the Alice (L.7440) [082KNW165] properties, with which they are grouped.

The Okanagan and Enderby veins were located in the early 1900s and were partially developed by 1914. At that time there were several open cuts and a shaft, and there was an adit underway. Exploration continued intermittently and Winslow Consolidated Limited processed an unspecified, but small, amount of ore from the Okanagan vein for Le Roi Gold Mining Syndicate, in 1941. It was processed at the Winslow mill, whichis approximately 1.0 kilometres west of the Okanagan vein. In 1944, a further 200 tonnes of high-grade ore were stockpiled for later processing. There is no record of it being shipped.

The principals behind Sask-Wainwright Oil and Gas Company acquired the Okanagan and Enderby claims, the Winslow and Gladhand [082KNW025] and the nearby, U & I [082KNW023] and Alice [082KNW165] and other tenures in the early 1950s and worked on the enlarged property intermittently throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In 1983, Winslow Gold Corp acquired the ground from Sasko Oil and Gas Limited and continued the work. However, most of its effort was focused on the Winslow vein. In 1989, the tenures were surrounded by the Rit Claims.

The Trout Lake area is underlain by a thick succession of sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Badshot Formation and Lardeau Group near the northern end of the Kootenay arc, an arcuate, north to northwest trending belt of Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata that is now classified as a distinct, pericratonic, terrane. The arc rocks are bordered by Precambrian quartzite in the east and they young to the west, where they are bounded by Jurassic-age intrusive complexes. They were deformed during the Antler orogeny in Devonian-Mississippian time and refolded and faulted during the Columbian orogeny, in the Middle Jurassic. A large panel, the "Selkirk allochthon", was later offset to the northeast by dip-slip motion along the Columbia River Fault.

The Badshot Formation is composed of a thick Cambrian limestone that is a distinctive marker horizon in the Trout Lake area. It is underlain by Hamill Group quartzite and it is overlain by a younger assemblage of imestone, calcareous, graphitic and siliceous argillite and siltstone, sandstone, quartzite and conglomerate, and also mafic volcanic flows, tuffs and breccias, all of which belong to the Lardeau Group. The rocks are isoclinally folded and intensely deformed, but only weakly metamorphosed. They occur as intercalated beds of marble, quartzite and grey, green and black phyllite and schist. Fyles and Eastwood (EMPR BULL 45) subdivided the group into six formations (Index, Triune, Ajax, Sharon Creek, Jowett and Broadview) of which the lowermost (Index) and uppermost (Broadview) are the most widespread. The Triune (siliceous argillite), Ajax (quartzite) and Sharon Creek (siliceous argillite) are restricted to the Trout Lake area. The Jowett is a mafic volcanic unit.

The Okanagan and Enderby claims are aligned perpendicular to the regional strike and provide a partial section through the Lardeau Group on the southwest side of the Silver Cup Ridge. They are underlain from northeast to southwest by black, siliceous phyllite of the Sharon Creek Formation, a major fault, a thick succession of green, gritty, metasediments of the Broadview Formation and a narrow (61 metre) band of Jowett Formation mafic volcanic strata. The rocks are highly deformed and schistose, and strike 130 and dip 55 degrees to the northeast.

The Okanagan vein is one of many barren and mineralized quartz veins exposed above tree line below the summit of Triune Mountain. It is a 0.46 to 1.37 metres wide quartz vein that is markedly discordant to schistocity. It strikes 010 degrees (north end) to 033 degrees (south end) and dips at between 57 and 65 degrees to the east. It was located in the early 1900s and was explored by several open cuts and by two shafts driven to a depth of 4.27 metres, prior to 1914. There is also mention of an early, unsuccessful, attempt to access the vein by means of an adit. The vein has been traced for 61 metres and may extend for a "considerable" distance to the south of the old workings. However, to the north, it is known to pinch out. The vein contains variable amounts of pyrite, in bunches and as disseminations, and lesser amounts of galena, sphalerite and chalcopyrite. A sample of pyrite free from quartz was examined for visible gold without success but was found to contain 469.7 grams per tonne gold and 270.8 grams per tonne silver on assay. An average sample across the vein in the shaft ran 65.1 grams per tonne gold and 99.4 grams per tonne silver over 0.91 metre. Other "grab samples" from the shaft are reported to have assayed 35.31, 92.91, 76.11 grams per tonne gold respectively, and a sample collected from the north shaft is described as containing 57.6 grams per tonne gold over 0.36 metre.

The Enderby vein is tens of meters northwest of the southeast corner of the crown grant. It is reported to strike 055 and dip flatly to the east. It is 0.46 to 0.91 metre wide and is galena-rich and more similar to the Silver Cup [082KNW027] vein than the Winslow [082KNW025]. A shallow shaft was sunk on the dip of the vein and a 0.61 metre section is reported to have run 1.37 grams per tonne gold, 1605.6 grams per tonne silver and 43.43 per cent lead. The vein could not be located in 1983.

BibliographyEMPR AR *1914-K310; 1915-449,450; 1918-K156; 1940-A64; 1941-A62EMPR ASS RPT 674, *8642, *12310, 17227EMPR BULL 45 p. 87EMPR GEM 1973-95EMPR OF 1990-24EMPR PF (*Report on the Winslow Group and Associated Properties and Spider Mine by B.W.W. McDougall, 1946: *Compilaton Report on the Winslow Gold Mine by J. Millar and Associates, December, 1963; Trans-Western Oils Ltd.: *Geological Evaluation of the Winslow Group Claims and Crown Grants by J.R. Allen; Winslow Gold Corp. Prospectus, May, 1987).GSC MAP 235AGSC MEM 161 pp. 27,45,46NMiner 4th July, 1983 

Workers in tram bucket Silver cup


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Beaton Hotel 1947


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Fall 2016


Darrel Davis finds the richest discovery in 100 years in the kootanys .19.1 ounces Gold per ton of rock